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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cape Disappoinment Lighthouse

Cape Disappointment, Washington ~
March 28, 2004

A few days ago I showed one of the views from the railing next to the lighthouse. Here is the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse itself. This is not to be confused with North Head Lighthouse, which is only a couple of miles to the right around the cape. The short trail to today's lighthouse takes you past the incomparable Deadman's Cove.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cows on the Long Beach Peninsula

Long Beach Peninsula, Washington ~ October 30, 2001

I encountered these cows, steer, heifers, or whatever on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington shortly after I moooooved to Astoria from Colorado. Not that there were no cows in Colorado - there were plenty - but they didn't live in drippy rainforests. I found the mossy, licheny environment very enchanting and somewhat peculiar, as this scene is a scant couple of miles (if that) from the ocean. It was nice to see some friendly faces, and amusing to think that these bovines rated a home of their own, even though they didn't seem to take care of it very well.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Neahkahnie Mountain from Cape Falcon

Oswald West State Park, Oregon ~ February 2006

The other day I showed a photo from the top of Neahkanhie Mountain. Here is the mountain from another point: Cape Falcon.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Last Thanksgiving

Near Ilwaco, Washington ~ November 26, 2009
Thanksgiving Day

After a walk in the rain along the River Walk, we drove to Seaview, Washington, for an incredible dinner at the Shelburne Inn. I took this photo of crab pots on a trailer nearing Ilwaco on the way to Seaview. This year? I worked, but it was mostly fun. Maybe I'll take some time off tomorrow.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Big Trees on the Trail

Fort Columbia, Washington ~ November 6, 2004

Across the river and west a few miles from Astoria is Fort Columbia, and behind the fort buildings are several hiking trails, at least one of them going up rather steeply among fallen trees.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Young's River Falls

Young's River Falls ~ October 12, 2003

This impressive waterfall is not that far from the city of Astoria. I should go back sometime with my better camera.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Please DO NOT Touch Or Climb On Cows"

Tillamook, Oregon ~ March 11, 2006

This post is especially for someone who likes Tillamook cheese and yogurt, but what most people like to sample when they come here is the ICE CREAM. And don't forget the Fudge Counter. It takes about an hour and a half to drive from Astoria to Tillamook if you don't stop, but the drive is along Oregon's amazing coastline, so most people want to stop and take lots of photos along the way, or at least look at the scenery. Once to you get to Tillamook, here are a few things you'll see on a visit to Dairy Heaven. First, the sign over the entrance.

Then the side of the building. I see that some people are enjoying the sun after filling up on cold dairy products.

Upstairs, there are viewing windows on both sides of a hallway. You can't miss the big milk cartons that look like cows, but also note that there's a country-style mini table with dairy products. If I remember after all these years, it's only for display. Darn.

Through tinted windows you can see lots of cheese and processing equipment . . .

. . . along with guys in shower caps.

And more processing equipment. It's pretty cool looking.

Except for the taste-testing, here is my favorite part. Fake cows. The green sign in front is where I got the title for the post.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Terrible Tillie," Tillamook Rock Light, or Desolation Row

Tillamook Head Trail, Oregon ~ June 27, 2009

You can see Tillamook Head Lighthouse, or Tillamook Rock Light from several places along the Tillamook Head trail. It helps to have binoculars, or in this case, a camera with a zoom.

"Terrible Tillie" was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1881 as a lighthouse. In 1980, it was purchased privately and turned into a columbarium (mausoleum). There were some problems with record-keeping and regulations, and after about 30 burials the license was revoked in 1999 and was not renewed on reapplication in 2005. You can read more via the link above.

Here is a view from farther south on the trail. Notice how the vegetation has changed due to the southern exposure.

What an amazing place this would be to watch a storm. The lighthouse was damaged over the years due to storms, including rocks thrown up by the waves and hitting the side of the building.

January 16, 2012: I am revisiting this post today to take part in Taphophile Tragics. Please take a look!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On the Tillamook Head Trail

Tillamook Head Trail, Oregon ~ June 27, 2009

This is one of the views of vegetation along the Tillamook Head trail (you can see Tillamook Head from Seaside in yesterday's post). This is what the vegetation looks like in one spot. The amazing thing to me is how much and how rapidly it changed all along the trail of several miles. I'll show you more later, and I'll also show views from the top. For much of the trail, you're encased in dense forest, but there are points where you can look out over the ocean. The orange berries are salmonberries, found along the coast from Alaska to California. By the way, here is a fantastic aerial overview photo showing the trail. You can also see that this is one of the places to see undistrubed old-growth trees, because you'll see the brown logged patches in the photo.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Seaside Classic Car Show

Seaside, Oregon ~ September 8, 2007

Quite a number of people roll into Seaside for classic car shows. Some bring their cars, some bring cameras, and some just bring themselves.

That seems to be Lewis and Clark in the background trying to figure out what the Radio Flyer is all about. I can't say I know the answer, either.

One of the favorite places to watch the cars strut their stuff is this traffic circle on Seaside's boardwalk. That's Tillamook Head in the background. A lofty rainforest trail skirts the ocean along the bluff.

And almost any day is a good excuse to fly kites in Seaside. The town has something of a carnival air, and people like to come here for a day or weekend of seaside fun.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Oyster Shells in Oysterville

Oysterville, Washington ~ October 30, 2001

Mountains of oyster shells are what remains of many, many oysters pulled from Willapa Bay on the Long Beach Peninsula. I didn't know anything about the area when I took this drive in 2001, so I was astounded to find these heaps of shells piled up at the end of the road. I can't tell you much about the oyster farming operations, but I can tell you that these oysters are world class fare. There's nothing like a good oyster shooter or huge, fat, Willapa Bay oysters cooked just right.

I walked into a small oyster processing place where they had tubs and equipment for pulling the oysters out of the shells to clean and can them, but I believe it was after hours or off season, because I don't remember a lot of activity. But I can tell you they sold just about the best cookies in the world there, too, and the cookies were not made of oysters. You could buy the dry mix packaged, take it home, and "just add water." I think I'm going to have to go back. I'm making myself hungry. (I'll bet it was this place.)

The town is quaint, historic, and interesting, and recommended for an out-of-the-way drive. It has some cool buildings from the 1800s. I also found online a local oyster cam. I can't wait to see what it looks like in the morning, because it was dark when I wrote this. At night it looks like a deserted concert venue with the stadium lights still on and shiny rain puddles on the ground.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Through the Trees at Oswald West

Oswald West State Park ~ August 8, 2002

The trail from the road down to this spot takes you through ferny rainforest and down to a creek which empties into the ocean. Then you can walk out onto the beach and along the rocks or hike up to Cape Falcon. Every view is breathtaking. The park is not named as the west part of "something," but is named for Oswald West, governor of Oregon from 1911 to 1915. Under his administration, the entire Oregon coastline was set aside in perpetuity for public use, which has to be one of the best moves a public servant ever made. Before moving to Salem, Oswald lived for a time in Astoria.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A View from Cape Disappointment

Cape Disappointment, Washington ~ September 14, 2008

There is a lighthouse on Cape Disappointment, and I'll show it another day; I was standing near it when taking this picture. It's a different lighthouse, but not far from North Head lighthouse, which I posted a few days ago.

All of the water in the foreground is still the Columbia River. The actual mouth of the river is a ways to the right, outside the photo. You can see a white line on the right just below the mountains (especially if you enlarge the photo). Those are the breaking waves of the beach beyond South Jetty. North Jetty is farther to our right. The hump in the middle of the horizon is Saddle Mountain, the top of which I showed in this post. By the way, the name "Cape Disappointment" is obviously not derived from the view or the scenery, but because an English fur trader named Captain John Meares could not find shelter here from a storm at sea; the river was so wide, he didn't recognize it as a river, and thus found no shelter. He knew that a river was supposed to exist here, but apparently in the storm and low visibility, he concluded that it was not a waterway.

Astoria is at the far left of the photo. The Cape Disappointment link above includes an image identifying various places in this scene and some that you can't see here. It's worth a look.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Photo Contest Winners

First Place
By Kim Taylor

I think this photo is just stunning, and I could not take my eyes off of the image. It has a beautiful balance of elements. It also has that late afternoon feel along the River Walk. I don't think I even need to mention the clouds! I could not have produced this photo, and that was one of the attractions for me. Congratulations, Kim!

Following are the three runners-up, in no particular order.

By Robbie Mattson

I thought the subject matter was unusual, and the photo also felt desolate, quiet, and maybe cold, which is one of the moods I love about Astoria.

By Sara Absher

This photo of flowers in front of the Liberty Theatre at Sunday Market shows beautiful color in the flowers and the liveliness that people add to a picture. It carries a great spark of life in contrast to the first-posted runner-up photo. Both are such strong features of our area that I wanted to include the contrast among the winners. Also, for those who know Astoria, any image of the Liberty in recent years probably reminds us of what can be accomplished when people work together to restore one of our pieces of heritage - which is again about bringing life to something that could easily have crumbled away. And it's such an outstanding building.

Debbie Loyd

I find this also a stunning picture of something we see every day, but not always "in this light" or from this angle. So many times I've been across the Young's Bay Bridge to Warrenton at this time of day and have seen outstanding colors in the sky and on the water. Most times I've been driving and couldn't get the photo. I love the way the water reflects the gorgous colors in the sky. I also love the peaceful balance in this image.

These are some of the reasons I selected the photos I did, but there were many that I wanted to add to the Winners' Circle. I'm a sucker for a nice sunset picture, especially around here, and I could have chosen a full roster of sunsets. There were others that I loved immediately, or that grew on me as the contest progressed. I want to thank you all for your participation and your comments throughout October and early November.

To see all of the posts of contest entries, click here and keep scrolling.

How to claim your prizes  :)

First Prize is (approximately) $30.00 worth of toys and gifts from Tapir and Friends Animal Store, and the Runner-up prizes are approximately $10.00 each in toys and gifts from Tapir and Friends. I say "approximately," because if your choice is $29.00 or $11.00, that's probably close enough. These are animal-themed items, and hopefully either you or someone you know likes animals. There's a variety to choose from, from stuffed animals to realistic plastic replicas, to model dinosaur skeletons to beautiful hand-painted or handmade jewelry. Pick out what you like and send me an e-mail. I will pay for mailing to you or to someone else if it's a gift. If you want to pick it up in Astoria, just let me know, although I don't keep store hours and there is no longer a storefront. Let me know what you want and we'll arrange a pick-up or delivery time. If what you want is listed as out of stock, let me know, because it may be coming in very soon. If you want to wait until closer to Christmas or Hanukkah, that's fine, too. Contratulations, all of you. This has been fun!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Saddle Mountain: Near the Top

October 17, 2002

You can see Saddle Mountain from a number of places on the south and west sides of Astoria, but you need to drive the long way around to get to the base of the mountain where the trail begins. Here you can see the shape that makes the saddle. From this vantage point, the trail tucks down into the saddle, then climbs up to the top. It's still a good scramble away, and a bit rough going near the end. Some other day I'll show the nearly-unobstructed view from the top.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Volleyball at Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach, Oregon ~ July 13, 2002

For the rest of November, and maybe longer, I will be focusing on photos outside of Astoria proper. Periodically I realize that I have not shown much of the nearby region, which is outstanding for any number of reasons. Each nearby community has its own distinct flavor and attractions, and yet we all feel related and connected here on the North Coast, which includes parts of both Oregon and Washington. From Astoria it takes a drive of two hours to reach Portland, and drive of about three hours to reach Seattle. (By contrast, Cannon beach is about 35 minutes south of Astoria.) Because of mountains and water, there is no "as the crow flies" connection to the big cities. We have some, but not much, public transportation to these cities, and the timetables and connections are not always convenient. Roads can be more difficult in bad weather, too. These "limitations" sometimes make us feel isolated, but they also keep us smaller and more regional while the big boxes and highways in this country take over so much that was once attractive (don't even get me started). In addition, the limiting factors keep our corner "at the end of the world" feeling like one related community.

Besides the local towns, this part of the world includes spectacular natural beauty. It's no wonder so many films have been made in the area. I will take you to some of these breathtaking and diverse spots over the next few weeks, often drawing on photos from the archives such as the one above from 2002. This was taken in front of a hotel in Cannon Beach. The volleyball net is out of range in this picture, but that's what's going on. Cannon Beach is known for its rocky coastline wonders, the most famous of which I'll show on another day. 

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

North Head Lighthouse, Washington

North Head Lighthouse, Washington ~ October 25, 2010
Guest Photographer: Glenn Taggart

Although our October photo contest is over, several people sent photos early in November. I will post them during the month. This photo by Glenn Taggart fits the theme I had planned for November (and maybe into December) of places near Astoria. There is so much to see in the immediate area, and I have not posted much about these places so far. I thought this photo was a perfect starter. North Head Lighthouse is easy to get to. It's just across the river near Ilwaco, and is atmospheric to the max.

Glenn said, "I took this pic a couple weeks ago at the North head lighthouse near Ilwaco, WA. I have a job building a trail there and was checking on the progress and snapped this pic out my window as I was driving by." Because he was on the job, Glenn was able to drive out to this point. For the rest of us, there's a short trail beyond the parking lot. Thanks, Glenn!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Photo Contest: "Under the Bridge - A Different Perspective" by John Nordquist

Guest Photographer: John Nordquist

This striking image by John Nordquist is the last of the official contest photos to be posted. Several of you sent in additional pix, which I'll post sometime in November. However, tomorrow I'll go back to posting mostly my own photos. I'm always open to guest shots, so send them any time. I may work on a different theme for the rest of November, so stay tuned! I also have the difficult task of chosing our First Prize and three additional prizes. I'll do that over the next day or two and you'll be the first to know  :)

Thanks to all of you for making this contest both fun and successful!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Photo Contest: Four more from Debbie Loyd

Guest Photographer: Debbie Loyd

Fortunately, Debbie mentioned that this is "the trail or bike bath that cuts off of the river walk east of town." I would not have known that because I still have not gotten down that way. I hope to soon. It's really pretty. 

(Note, I've been out of town for the weekend, so my posting schedule is a bit off. I'm posting this on Sunday night, but I'll leave it up all of Monday. ~ Sheryl)

This sunset view will be familiar to Astorians, but since we have readers who have not been here, it's a wonderfully-timed shot of the Young's Bay Bridge crossing between Astoria (this side) and Warrenton. The bridge spans the mouth of Young's Bay where it flows into the Colombia River, on the right. It looks like it was taken from the vicinity of Alameda Street.

The photo above is called, "December Snow." It was taken December 22, 2008. We don't get snow every year, but there have been a couple of spectacular snow days in the past few years. This was certainly one of them. It's a nice overview of downtown Astoria as well.

The pilot boat dock at the end of 14th Street is a popular place to view the river. If you're lucky you get to see the boat charging in or out of the dock on its way to meet or return home from the big ships in the river. The river is not always this muddy, so it must have rained somewhere fairly recently.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Photo Contest: Three images of the Column from Carrie

Guest Photographer: Carrie Schwartzenberger

The first photo was taken inside the Astoria Column on Coxcomb Hill. I love what happens with the light and shapes!

At the top of the column, a door opens onto a spectacular view. Carrie sent two versions - as with the Cannery Pier Hotel and the old car, she's given us a tweaked version and the original.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Photo Contest: Two from Merri Padgett

Guest Photographer: Merri Padgett

Merri took these photos from the top of the Hotel Elliott in downtown Astoria. What beautiful lighting! For anyone not familiar with Astoria, that's our famous column at the top of the hill (below). Earlier in the year, I posted one of Merri's photos taken from the same place but in a different direction. You can see the drama in the sky.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Photo Contest: Seven More from Robbie

Guest Photographer: Robbie Mattson

Each photo deserves its own day, but if I'm ever going to get all the photos from the contest posted, I need to group them! Enjoy every one of them.

Pier 39

Notice the seagull is exposed nicely - i.e., not burned out in the white areas. Nice job, Robbie!

Another of our amazing sunsets.

Robbie wrote: "Who stacks the rocks up under the bridge??" I think I recently read a similar question about cairns along the coast further south.

This is the inside of the Urban Cafe. When I posted about the Urban, I mentioned the positive slogans to be found. This is one of them, and I find that they really add to the ambience, as I know they are from the heart.

Something interesting anywhere you look.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

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